5th Day on the Golden Chariot - The Luxury Train through Hampi in Karnataka State of India

After visiting Iskon temple in Bengaluru, Mysore Palace, Wildlife safaris in Kabini (saw 1 tiger and 2 leopards), Srirangapatnam, Hassan, Bellur Temples, Halebid temple & Shravanabelagola, it was time to explore Hampi. Hampi is 3rd target heritage site in the world, which can't be explored in a day but idea was to get familiar with the place and plan next trip for at least a week. Everyone on Golden Chariot was excited to explore Hampi, as it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in south India and specifically in Karnataka state.

After visiting Iskon temple in Bengaluru, Mysore Palace, Wildlife safaris in Kabini (saw 1 tiger and 2 leopards), Srirangapatnam, Hassan, Bellur Temples, Halebid temple & Shravanabelagola, it was time to explore Hampi. Hampi is the 3rd target heritage site in the world, which can't be explored fully in a day but the idea was to get familiar with the place and plan the next trip for at least a week. Everyone on Golden Chariot was excited to explore Hampi, as it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in south India and specifically in Karnataka state. 

After breakfast on Golden Chariot, we started the journey to Hampi in a bus from Hospete railway station. It took us about 30 minutes to reach Hampi Unesco Heritage site. We took one halt near Lakshmi Narsimha Temple. This is considered as the largest statue in Hampi. Narasimha is sitting on the coil of a giant  Seshnaga, a seven-headed snake which is referred in many mythological stories. The heads of the snake act as the hood above his head and in this statue it's dramatized a lot. It took some time to figure out that it's head of Sheshanag. The god sits in a cross-legged Yoga position with a belt supporting the knees. The carving done on the belt looks awesome. I will be sharing more photographs in separate post about Hampi.  Narasimha actually means half man & half lion in hindi and it is considered as one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

After breakfast on Golden Chariot, we started the journey to Hampi in a bus from Hospete railway station. It took us about 30 minutes to reach Hampi Unesco Heritage site. We took one halt near the Lakshmi Narsimha Temple. This is considered as the largest statue in Hampi. In the statue, Narasimha is sitting on the coil of a giant  Seshanag, a seven-headed snake which is referred in many mythological stories. The heads of the snake act as the hood above Narsimha's head and in this statue it's dramatized a lot. It took us some time to figure out that it's the head of Seshanag. The god sits in a cross-legged Yoga position with a belt supporting the knees. The carving done on the belt looks awesome. I will be sharing more photographs in a separate post about Hampi.


Narasimha actually means half man & half lion in hindi and is considered as one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

The original statue of Narasimha had the image of goddess Lakshmi, sitting on his lap. But this statue has been damaged seriously during the raid leading to the fall of Vijayanagara. Above photograph shows the huge shivalimgam which is situated close to Lakshmi Narsimha Temple.


The original statue of Narasimha had the image of goddess Lakshmi, sitting on his lap. But this statue was damaged seriously during the raid leading to the fall of Vijayanagar. The above photograph shows the huge shivalimgam which is situated close to Lakshmi Narsimha Temple.

After spending some time around Lakshmi Narsimha Temple, we walked around the beautiful hill with huge rocks and ancient temples. Above is one of the views from this hill and Virupaksha temple is exactly opposite to this place.

After spending some time around the Lakshmi Narsimha Temple, we walked around the beautiful hill which is dotted with huge rocks and ancient temples. Above is one of the views from this hill and Virupaksha temple is exactly opposite to this place.

We visited Virupaksha Temple, saw monolithic Nandi from the bus and also saw Achyutarya Temple from bus. But before doing all that, we spent good amount of time around this hill which is full of huge rocks and some ancient structures.

We visited Virupaksha Temple, saw monolithic Nandi from the bus and also saw Achyutarya Temple from bus. But before doing all that, we spent good amount of time around this hill which is full of huge rocks and some ancient structures. 



As we started climbing up one of the neighbouring hills, we got to see huge landscapes of Hampi. There were huge areas in ruins. Most of these places looked grand and beautiful. At the same moment I realised how big this place is and how can we imagine to explore it well in a day or 2.

As we started climbing up one of the neighbouring hills, we got to see huge landscapes of Hampi. There were huge areas in ruins. Most of these places looked grand and beautiful. At the same moment I realised how big this place is and that it is impossible to explore it well in a day or 2. 


On the road near Virupaksha Temple, there is road surrounded by  ancient market where pearls, gold, diamond trading used to happen in Vijayanagara kingdom. This is huge one and I really wanted to spend some time around this space.

Near the Virupaksha Temple, there is road surrounded by the ruins of an ancient market where pearls, gold, diamond trading used to happen in Vijayanagara kingdom. This is a huge structure and I really wanted to spend some time around this space.  


Here is another view of Virupaksha Temple from one of the surrounding hills. This is one of the most interesting places in Hampi to closely experience gigantic rocks, monolithic structures and beautiful views. I am sure sunset would look much better from this place as it gives great views in all directions.

Here is another view of Virupaksha Temple from one of the surrounding hills. This is one of the most interesting places in Hampi to closely experience gigantic rocks, monolithic structures and beautiful views. I am sure sunset would look much better from this place as it gives great views in all directions. Here is another view of Virupaksha Temple from one of the surrounding hills. This is one of the most interesting places in Hampi to closely experience gigantic rocks, monolithic structures and beautiful views. I am sure sunset would look much better from this place as it is surrounded by great views in all directions. 

We boarded the bus and then stopped around Lotus Mahal, Elephant’s Stable, Ranga Temple and Zanana enclosure.

We boarded the bus and then stopped around Lotus Mahal, Elephant’s Stable, Ranga Temple and Zanana enclosure. 


Above photograph shows Elephant’s Stable at Hampi.

The Above photograph shows an Elephants' Stable at Hampi. 


I will be posting separately about Hampi, it’s heritage and some of the most interesting places around.

I will be posting separately about Hampi, its heritage, and some of the most interesting places to explore. 

Next halt was Hazararama temple and near that were the ruins of Hampi palace.

Our next halt was the Hazararama temple and near that were the ruins of Hampi palace. 



Most of the structures of Vajayanagara were made up of sandal wood, which don’t exist now and so only stone structures can be seen, which were usually the base of any palace or watchtower.

Most of the structures of Vajayanagara were made up of sandal wood, which don’t exist now and so only stone structures can be seen, which were usually the base of any palace or watchtower. 



There was a huge swimming pool and we guessed it’s depth as 30 feet.

There was a huge swimming pool and we guessed it’s depth as 30 feet. 


Here is a photograph of water source near the main mahal of Vijayanagara kingdom. Is surrounded by huge land full of ruins.
Here is a photograph of a water source near the main mahal of Vijayanagara kingdom. It is surrounded by ruins of all shapes and sizes. 

It was hot in the month of March and I am just it would unbearable in summers. So best time to visit Hampi is winters. This was the hottest place so far, when we were travelling with Golden chariot.

It was hot in the month of March and I am positive that it would be worse in summers. So the best time to visit Hampi is winters. This was the hottest place so far during our ride on the Golden chariot. 


On our way, we had a quick halt near Zananaghar - the place where important ladies of the kingdom used to come for bath. The central place used to be water pond, which is empty now.

On our way, we had a quick halt near Zananaghar - the place where important ladies of the kingdom used to come for bath. The central place used to be water pond, which is empty now. 


Some of the us loved climbing these huge rocks. Jane made best of the time available. She was focussed on exploring the place at it's best and do some crazy stuff. She suggested some cool places to me for clicking and that worked really well.

Some of the us loved climbing these huge rocks. Jane made best of the time available. She was focussed on exploring the place at it's best and do some crazy stuff. She suggested some cool places to me for clicking and that worked really well. 


This was just the beginning. Hampi had lot of surprises for us. These huge rocks look so amazing around the hills of Hampi. There are various monolithic structures around this place and few of the structures were unimaginably huge. Just look  at above photograph and see the size of people standing in comparison to the rocks on right side.

This was just the beginning. Hampi had lot of surprises for us. These huge rocks look so amazing around the hills of Hampi. There are various monolithic structures around this place and few of the structures were unimaginably huge. Take a look at the above photograph and see the size of people standing in comparison to the rocks on right side. 


We started back from Hampi to the train at 1pm for lunch and reached by 1:20pm. After lunch, it was time for some rest and then headed back again at 3:30pm.

We started back from Hampi for the train at 1pm for lunch and reached by 1:20pm. After lunch, it was time for some rest and then headed back again at 3:30pm. 


 In the second half, plan was to visit Vithala temple in Hampi.

In the second half, the plan was to visit the Vithala temple in Hampi. 


Vithala temple is one of the important temples of Vijayanagara, which has amazing architecture. Like other temples in south India, this one is also with a huge compound with various temples around.

Vithala temple is one of the most important temples of Vijayanagara, which has amazing architecture. Like other temples in south India, this one is also a huge compound with various temples around. 



The Vittala Temple in Hampi is one of the ancient monuments that is well-known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. The temple is located near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Our guide took us inside some of the temples in this compound and made us hear music which comes out of the pillars. One needs to experience it live. Even videos can't help you with these kinds of experiences.


The Vithala Temple in Hampi is one of the ancient monuments that is well-known for its exceptional architecture and unmatched craftsmanship. It is considered to be one of the largest and the most famous structure in Hampi. The temple is located near the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Our guide took us inside some of the temples in this compound and made us hear music which comes out of the pillars. One needs to experience it live. Even videos can't help you with these kinds of experiences. 


Vishnu temple, King’s balance and inscribed vishnu temple are around this part of Hampi. Virupaksha Temple, Achyutaraya temple and Yantrodharak Anjaneya temple are little far from this place.

The famous photograph of a chariot at Hampi is clicked inside the compound of Vithala Temple. 



Vishnu temple, King’s balance and inscribed vishnu temple are around this part of Hampi. Virupaksha Temple, Achyutaraya temple and Yantrodharak Anjaneya temple are little far from this place.

We shall be sharing a separate post about Vithala Temple and some interesting facts like it’s musical pillars. There is a zone around this temple where vehicles are not allowed, but one can reach here via foot from the parking area or get the electric golf-carts. 



Vishnu temple, King’s balance and inscribed vishnu temple are around this part of Hampi. Virupaksha Temple, Achyutaraya temple and Yantrodharak Anjaneya temple are little far from this place.

Vishnu temple, King’s balance and inscribed vishnu temple are around this part of Hampi. Virupaksha Temple, Achyutaraya temple and Yantrodharak Anjaneya temple are a little far from this place.



Hampi is also known as Temple town because of various town around Hampi town. I am little confused if Hampi is town or a village :). I heard lot of folks calling it as village.

Hampi is also known as the Temple town because of various town around Hampi town. I am a little confused if Hampi is a town or a village :). I heard a lot of folks calling it a village. 

After visiting Vithala Temple, we headed towards Tugbhadra river for sunset. It was 10 minutes walk from Vithala Temple. After visiting Vithala Temple, we headed towards the Tungbhadra river for sunset. It was a 10 minutes walk from Vithala Temple. 


Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there till the sunset as battery operated cars don’t operate after 6pm. We had some elder folks in the group, for whole walking for 1.5 kilometres was not possible so whole group left before sunset.

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay there till the sunset as battery operated cars don’t operate after 6pm. We had some elder folks in the group, for whole walking for 1.5 kilometres was not possible so whole group left before sunset. 

After reaching back the Golden Chariot, Chief Chef of the train demonstrated his recipe of Kundapur Kolisaaru (Kundapur Chicken Curry). It was super delicious. Then we headed towards the restaurant on Golden Chariot for dinner. Dinner menu included - crispy coleslaw, creme du barry, grilled fish, coq-au-vin, gosht nilgiri korma, murgh kundan waliya, palak aloo, pancras dal, taw piranha, jeera rice, tomato raitha, tiramisu and sheer korma. This was about the non-veg menu and I didn’t check the veg menu, so sorry for that ignorance.After reaching the Golden Chariot, the Chief Chef of the train demonstrated his recipe of Kundapur Kolisaaru (Kundapur Chicken Curry). It was super delicious. Then we headed towards the restaurant on Golden Chariot for dinner. Dinner menu included - crispy coleslaw, creme du barry, grilled fish, coq-au-vin, gosht nilgiri korma, murgh kundan waliya, palak aloo, panchras dal, tawa paratha, jeera rice, tomato raita, tiramisu and sheer korma. This was about the non-veg menu and I didn’t check the veg menu, so sorry for that ignorance.

It was my best day with Golden Chariot. I loved Hampi and now I need to plan another trip with Vibha. Stay tuned for next journey with Golden Chariot and some interesting facts about Badami cave temples & Patadakkal temples.

It was my best day on Golden Chariot. I loved Hampi and now I need to plan another trip with Vibha. Stay tuned for the next leg of this journey with Golden Chariot and some interesting facts about Badami cave temples & Patadakkal temples. 

It was my best day with Golden Chariot. I loved Hampi and now I need to plan another trip with Vibha. Stay tuned for next journey with Golden Chariot and some interesting facts about Badami cave temples & Patadakkal temples.

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